31 May, 2010
In a week I am leaving town again for a real vacation, and I am beyond excited! My friend Laurel is attending a neuroscience conference in Barcelona and she invited me to tag along. We'll be in Barcelona for a few days, and then we are renting a car to drive West to San Sebastian, up through the Pyranees into France, through Bordeaux and Cognac, ending up in Paris for a couple of days, followed by a quick jaunt to London, from whence we will fly home. It's been many years since Laurel and I were in Europe together (we rented an apartment in London the summer after we graduated from high school), or took a road trip together (I helped her move from New York to Los Angeles about five years ago), and I think it's going to be really fun to spend some quality girl time with one of my oldest friends. Also: FOOD. We plan on loading up on tapas/pinxtos in Barcelona, going cheese tasting in the Basque Country, Cognac tasting in Cognac, visiting Aran Goyoaga's family's bakery on the Spanish coast, and revisiting all our favorite haunts in Paris and London.
The other thing I am excited about is some of the places we are staying along the way! We somehow managed to get really good deals at some really amazing hotels, like Le Logis de Puygaty in Charentes (top, and above), and these:
the Hotel Aire de Bardenas in Navarra
Hotel Arguibel in Guetthary
The St. James Club in London
29 May, 2010
My friend Jessica and I took a drive down El Camino Real, California's oldest highway, down to Redwood City. We stopped at the PEZ Museum in Burlingame, had frozen yogurt and french fries (at two separate establishments), did a little antiquing and a little thrifting, and took lots of photos of old signs.
I keep going to amazing dinners and wanted to share a little about them. On Mother's Day, I was lucky enough to attend my first Outstanding in the Field dinner with my mom, at the beautiful McEvoy olive oil ranch in Petaluma. We toured the facilities and then ate at the longest table ever, dining on truly incredible food prepared by Dominique Crenn of Luce. My favorite courses were the smoked quail with pickled rhubarb, candied meyer lemon, and chestnut beans, and the dessert- a cherry and chocolate bread pudding with pistachio Anglaise.
I also got to attend the first (of hopefully many) Afterhours dinner at Tartine bakery, organized and cooked for by the inspiring Samin Nosrat. This was a much smaller event and it was nice to get to know our table-mates, all of whom knew Samin in different ways. And yes, the food was incredible! I can't get enough of Samin's pasta. SO GOOD. I was remiss in my photo-taking, but this is a picture of the dessert- strawberry ice cream with chocolate, pistachios, and rosewater cream.
Last night, my friend Kiersten and I went to another Produce Dinner at 18 Reasons, one of my favorite food-related organizations. The theme was cherries, provided by Hidden Star Orchards, and everything was delicious! I really love going to dinners at 18 Reasons because they are small and you get to know everyone at the table. Last night we were seated between a woman who works for CUESA, another amazing organization that runs the Ferry Building farmer's market in San Francisco, and a couple who are planning to open a cheese shop (I met them at the last Produce Dinner I attended, and Lauren is the one who suggested I take a cheesemaking class at the Institute for Urban Homesteading). As always, it was great to be in a room full of foodies referencing books like Righteous Porkchop, the differences between local and imported cheeses, and the childhood experiences that lead us to become adults who care about where our food comes from and how it is produced. This is a picture of the first course: chevre with cherry mostarda on walnut toast, with herbs and frisee.
28 May, 2010
Pie Bird Press has been getting some fantastic press from the Stationery Show! We were lucky enough to be included in posts by Design Sponge (here, here, and here), Poppytalk, Paper Crave, and of course the Enormous Champion blog. Lots of thanks to Grace, Jan (and Eva), and Kristen for featuring our products!
23 May, 2010
My favorite new company at NSS was Gold Teeth Brooklyn, hands down. Jesse, Emily and Alex like all the same things as I do (I clearly need to do a lightbulb card), and their style is great. Plus they are really, really nice. My favorite product of theirs is the print, above, of the different notebooks- I will very likely be adding one to my art collection soon.
As you know, my friend Marina and I like to go to different neighborhoods and take pictures, so it was fun to have the time for a little photo adventure in New York together. We spent an afternoon in the West Village and meatpacking district, and here is what I managed to capture before my camera stopped working. I should also note that a couple of these are from other parts of town.